The precision engineering sector lies at the heart of the UK’s manufacturing capability. Companies that operate in this sector support major economy-driving industries such as aerospace, defence, motorsport, nuclear, off-highway equipment, oil and gas, and renewable energy. The main companies that constitute this sector are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Successful precision engineering businesses are required to master process innovation and supply chain solutions, and in these types of business, the implementation of innovative, collaborative solutions has become a necessary strategy for enhancing SME decision-making capability as well as for improving overall business competitiveness. The aim of the research described in this paper is to present how, by mentoring and supporting SME organisations through on-line based collaboration, it is possible to engage in improved collaborative alliances and how precision-engineering SMEs can benefit and are able to enhance their performance. The research is supported by a description of a case study undertaken in a precision engineering SME, from the UK northwest region, in order to demonstrate the application of the collaborative decision support systems approach.
- Collaborative operations management
- Supply chain integration
- Web-based decision support system